Well, it was bound to happen.
After a pretty good run of about three months without being clobbered with a pee cee stick, today I got whacked again.
This morning, I had some business to take care of, and that business required that I contact a local government agency here in Washington State. This being the case, I dutifully researched the phone number, placed my call, and got the information that I needed from a very pleasant phone clerk … who happened to be a black woman.
Unfortunately, I forgot to make a note of the woman’s name. This was a problem because, as it turns out, I had to call back for clarification on a specific issue.
About an hour after I placed the initial call, I picked up the phone, dialed the same agency again, and reached a completely different clerk this time.
“Hello, I called about an hour ago and blah blah blah, I have a quick follow up question, is it possible to speak with the previous woman with whom I spoke?”, I said.
“Let me find out, do you know who you spoke with?”, she asked.
“No, unfortunately I didn’t get her name. She was a black woman, fairly young sounding”, I replied.
This is where things took a turn for the decidedly less pleasant.
“How do you know she was black?!”, replied the clerk with hostility which took me aback.
“What do you mean how do I know?”, I said, “If I’m wrong I apologize, it wasn’t mean as an insult, I was trying to help you identify her.”
“It doesn’t matter if you are right, what you said sounds very racist”, she replied.
“How does telling you that she is black sound racist?”, I asked.
“Just because she was not well-spoken you assumed she was black”, she replied.
I was stupefied.
I didn’t say anything about the woman not being well-spoken. She spoke just fine. All I did was try to identify whom I had spoken to.
Now, today’s conversation brings up a point that I have had to deal with since the very inception of my blog. Since day one, and especially since the entire NBA All-Star debacle in Vegas, I’ve been on the receiving end of every politically correct attack imaginable. Racist, sexist, homophobe, whatever. You name it, I’ve been called it.
Unlike every other “writer”, “blogger”, or “person who types things to be read by other people”, I’ve never responded to these accusations. Not once. Usually, when you call someone a “racist” they retreat into full-blown defensive mode ie. “Oh no no no no I’m not racist!”. They then spend the next month trying to convince everyone and anyone that they are not, in fact, a “racist”.
I’ve not done this, however.
The way I look at it, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.
Up until a few months ago, these are the places I have called home for more than a year: Washington DC, The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Time-wise, I spent roughly 21 years in DC, 11 years in NYC, 5 years in LA, and 5 years in Vegas. These are not homogenous places. Since the day I popped out of my mother’s glory hole, I have been literally surrounded by every permutation of human being imaginable. All of them have annoyed me at some point in time.
When I was growing up, I got my butt kicked royally on more than a couple of occasions for being the wrong color. I didn’t embrace diversity, diversity beat me over the head, dragged me back to its place, and shoved its d**k in my rear end. In the 1940′s, my grandmother was the only Jew in the entire state of West Virginia and even today, honky is the minority race in my immediate family. We’ve endured countless stares and rude comments from people who are convinced that Jesus hates race mixing, but I’ve always just laughed it off since I’m unconcerned with the approval of most people … including Jesus.
My extended family is no more traditional. I was the best man at a Vegas wedding where my mother-in-law married her cross-dressing, 350 pound, wheelchair-bound fiance. She dressed as the groom, and he was in a stunning wedding gown complete with lipstick, makeup, etc. For their honeymoon, they took a “crossdressing cruise” where they … well, I didn’t really want the details.
Still, all of this not withstanding … the question as to my tolerances are indeed raised from time to time, and after 5 years, I will now have a single post to point to as a reply.
So, am I a “racist”? Am I “sexist”? Am I a (insert PC label here)-ist?
The answer to these questions are … it’s up to you. I don’t really care which answer you choose. If you think I am, then yes. If not, then no. The problem with these labels is that they are so poorly defined as to make categorization completely subjective.
Do I think that black people should be discriminated against in employment and denied access to businesses? No;
Do I advocate the killing, hatred, or oppression of any racial group? No;
Do I think that illegal aliens should be rounded up and deported? Yes;
Only Mexican illegal aliens? No;
When I see TV cop dramas making sure that every street gang has a token white guy, do I laugh? Yes;
Do I think that women and men have the same innate strengths and capabilities? No;
Do I think that there are inherent and obvious differences between all races and genders that cannot be eliminated through wishful thinking? Yes;
Why do I have these opinions?
Because I’m not an idiot, that’s why. I live in reality and I’ve always lived in reality.
Does this make me a racist?
Yes. In many parts of the country, being a realist is equated with being a racist. Using common sense is equated with being a racist. Abandoning the collective delusion that “all people are equal in every way … always” and using ones own experiences and intellect is equated with being a racist. Because of this, I’m certain that the majority of self-appointed “tolerant” people consider me to be both racist and sexist.
“Gee Rex, there is nothing in the world worse than being thought of as a racist, don’t you think you should … you know … change?”
No. I’d rather be right than popular. I’d rather people hate me for what I am than like me for what I’m not.
When someone calls me a racist, I don’t become defensive and try to change their mind. That’s their opinion and they are entitled to it. Otherwise, it doesn’t affect me. It’s like someone coming up and telling me that their favorite color is orange. I’m not a fan of orange, but whatever. I’ve never understood why journalists, newscasters, writers, etc always go through such dramatic histrionics when the subject of their potential “racism” comes up. As long as they aren’t using black people for firewood, what difference does it make?
“Gee Rex, where is all of this coming from?”
I’ll tell you where it’s coming from. I’ve travelled this country from one end to the other, and the Pacific Northwest is by far the most politically correct place in the nation, if not the world. For the most part, everyone who lives between San Fransico and Bellingham has a fantasy of humans as a gender-less, race-less species in which all differences are purely sociological. These are the very same people who consider themselves progressive because they have two gay friends and three black friends. “Obama” black, not “Wesley Snipes” black. I mean, there’s edgy, and then there’s dangerous.
I’ve already butted heads with these people a couple of times.
For instance, I went to an elementary school event last week, and I used the term “black”. I was quickly corrected by another parent that the appropriate term was “African-American”, and I quickly corrected her back that Africa does not issue passports, and neither does America, so I didn’t want to insult one of the kids by implying that they were residents of two non-existent nations. “Also”, I said, “I’m almost positive that these kids have never been to Africa.”
Since I was with my non-white child, fortunately, she didn’t call me a racist — but she looked at me as if I had two heads. Apparently, nobody had ever challenged her gobbledygook before, and she clearly didn’t know what to make of it. Since my family is interracial, she naturally assumed that I had consumed the Kool-Aid, but again … this in and of itself could be considered an offensive stereotype. Not everyone in an interracial family is a complete idiot with the IQ of a squirrel.
I once heard a television reporter refer to Nelson Mandela as “African-American”, and I’ve heard Bob Marley referred to in the same way. The last time I checked, neither Mandela nor Marley were ever Americans, and I’m pretty sure Bob was from Jamaica instead of Africa, so I’m not sure what people are thinking.
In the case of the Pacific Northwest, I don’t think the people do this out of malice. I think they’ve just had so few experiences with black and Hispanic people that they view them as an exotic, fragile species that need to be infantalized and treated like childen. In my opinion, THAT’S racist.
I, however, will continue to refuse to participate in the collective hallucination that is the religion of Fauxtolerance, and to my neighbors that do, I offer you this open letter:
Dear Politically Correct Residents of the Great Pacific Northwest,
Ever since my first visit and residency here in the mid-80′s, I’ve always liked the area, and I’ve always maintained close ties with the region. Because of this, I decided to settle here until Canada decides to wise up, make me king, and beg me to rule British Columbia with an iron-yet-merciful fist. For the most part, the PNW is a somewhat tolerable place by U.S. standards (which I know isn’t saying much).
With that being said, I would like to cordially invite each and every one of you politically correct wannabes that reside here to take your progressive bull and shove it straight up your granola-filled butt.
When it comes to true “tolerance”, most of you fail with a capital “F”.
I bring to this region volumes of life experience that most of you could never imagine. It’s the kind of life experience that can’t be derived from watching the entire catalog of Spike Lee movies and listening to every Coltrane record ever issued. I promise.
I lived the “diverse” life that most of you romanticize, and I’m not talking about hanging out with dark people during civil rights marches. I’m talking about living with black and brown folks all day, every day, from a very young age. Because of this, I am naturally able to pick up on subtle racial differences that some of you may find baffling and even offensive. Also, I am very comfortable making fun of just about every group of humans because familiarity breeds contempt, and I am quite familiar with just about every supposedly-oppressed group on the planet.
Just because the rest of you have been protected from the harsh realities of life up here in Honkyland all of your lives doesn’t mean the rest of us have.
To me, most of you seem incredibly naive and sheltered … but that’s okay. I can tolerate you. I can embrace diversity.
For once, you may want to take your own mantra to heart.
Oh, and as for my phone conversation to the government office, the second clerk had to take my name and number so that the first clerk could call me back.
When she got back to me, I apprised her of the conversation I had had with her colleague, and she told me not to worry about it, and that she took no offense.
As it turns out, the woman was, indeed, black.
Like I said — you can be popular, or you can be right … but rarely both.